App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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Who doesn't love a game that lasts forever? There are tons of great games on mobile that you can sink hours upon hours into without getting bored, and Infinite Pool is a new contender that promises tons of billiards-based fun. As expected, Infinite Pool is true to its namesake, but it's also saddled with a bunch of progression mechanics that make it feel more focused on navigating a free-to-play model than having actual, limitless pool at your fingertips.
Pool in perpetuity
Infinite Pool indeed does promise a form of endless pool, but it's not quite the way you'd expect. There's no pool table here, nor are there eight balls, corner pockets, or even pool cues. You simply pull and release on a cue ball to send it flying at pool balls hanging out on fields that almost look like golfing greens with pool-like side pockets running up the sides.
As you fling the cue ball around, your goal is to sink balls into these pockets, which you can do in any which way you like. The only limitation is that you can't sink the cue ball or run through five shots without sinking anything. The infinite part of Infinite Pool comes in the form of the field of play. You move linearly up these fields and can just keep going on and on forever, provided you don't run out of shots.
The further you get into a round of Infinite Pool, the more different kinds of balls and hazards start appearing. There are bomb balls, which can explode and send other pool balls flying, rivers you have to cross by shooting your cue across logs, and even pool balls wearing hats that you can eventually unlock and equip to your own cue ball between rounds.
Speaking of hats, when you aren't actively playing a round of Infinite Pool the game encourages you to engage with a management sim that involves you unlocking, upgrading, and selling hats that you unlock in order to earn gold. It's not entirely clear to me why this is part of Infinite Pool, except as an opportunity to tempt people into buying premium currency. The fortunate thing about all this is that there's not much reason to buy this currency unless you're concerned about advancing the progress of your hat-selling, but that doesn't change the fact that it seems like a bizarre and unnecessary layer that's been draped over a pool game.
Infinite Pool offers up some light pool action that can feel pretty cool, especially when you're able to sink a bunch of pool balls at once, but it isn't the ideal pool experience on mobile. This is partly due to the game's physics model, which can feel kind of awkward at times (especially when playing it alongside the recently released Pocket Run Pool), but the bigger problem with Infinite Pool is its ad model.
It's fair for a free-to-play game to find some alternative means to earn money from players, but Infinite Pool's method for doing so feels wrong. The game is ad-supported with pop-up ads that you have to sit through between rounds, but paying to get rid of them is tied directly to Infinite Pool's strange hat shop management layer that already feels out of place in this pool game. So, if you're like me and feel like there's something cool and worth supporting in terms of Infinite Pool's billiards gameplay, there's no real way to do that. Instead, I'd have to opt into buying some currency for a part of the game that feels totally unrelated to get rid of ads.
The bottom line
Infinite Pool's biggest problem is one of cohesion. It feels like there are two games here that have just been stuck together without a ton of thought around how they could intersect in interesting ways. This ultimately obscures what cool stuff there actually is in Infinite Pool and makes for a game that is hard to feel good about supporting or playing.